Before I start ranting, I need you to understand that whatever I write here is my opinion.
I, together with around 4.5 million other Filipinos work in a call center. We provide much needed customer service, technical support, and back office processing to off-shore clients. This means work may start as early as 7:00 pm to as late as 4:00 am. Our biggest clients' businesses are based in the United States, Australia, Canada, and United Kingdom. So obviously, we are not customer-facing. We attend to our clients' customers through phone calls, chat, or email. When call center agents answer a call or respond to an email, the customer does not think about what the agent is wearing. What the customer wants is for their issue to be resolved. That being said, is a dress code really necessary to provide customer service?
Before I get a thousand raised eyebrows, let me explain what a corporate dress code is. This means men and women are supposed to come to work in a "smart business attire." For women, it means dresses, collared blouses, knee length skirts, slacks/dress pants, pumps/heeled shoes (open toe shoes are not allowed). For the men, it is dress shirts, slacks and leather shoes. Fine. Nothing wrong with this - if you have a day job and deal with customers face to face! Night shifters dolled up like this walking to a bus stop and waiting for a ride is like an open invitation for muggers. Of course, we can always take a cab, however, that could wreck havoc on our budget.
|Is anything wrong with jeans, a tee and sneakers?|
I understand that we have to exude professionalism, because some people tend to look down at call center workers. The phrase, "Kaya ganyan yan, kasi sa call center lang nagtatrabaho," is such a insult to us, especially if it came from people who have no knowledge of the life we have.
My opinion is that you cannot judge a person by their clothes. Efficiency is not acquired from applying lipstick.
Integrity is not an ingredient found in mascara and eye shadow.
Professionalism does not come with wearing high heels.
I would want to share an interesting article I have read a few days ago. The title of the article is "The Science of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Everyday," written by John Haltiwanger for Elite Daily. I was overjoyed that there was one person who shared my sentiment. The author mentioned such well known people such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Albert Einstein and Barack Obama. I loved how the author discussed the pros and cons of simplicity and what got me right on was this:
Yet, we might all consider simplifying our lives a bit more by reducing the amount of time we spend thinking about pointless aspects of our day. In the process, one might find that they are significantly less stressed, more productive and more fulfilled.
Oh so true!
I do not find anything wrong with jeans, as long as they are not ripped or worn "pants on the ground" style. I don't get it when sneakers or rubber shoes are not allowed at work. I really find it hard to part with my Chuck Taylors or my comfy all weather Saucony running shoes. If I had my way, the only things I would consider "inappropriate" for work are the following:
1. Leggings (yoga pants)
2. Tank tops
3. Halter tops
4. Blouses/Shirts with low necklines
6. Statement shirts with offensive/racist designs
7. Shorts or whatever kind
8. Ripped jeans
9. Flip-flops/rubber sandals/slippers
10. Thin, flimsy or see-through shirts
In the event that clients would be doing a site visit, only then should we be required to dress in smart business attire. Don't you think this would be a better solution?
Oh well, since I am nothing but a corporate slave, I have no other option but to follow the rules no matter how much I hate it. However, I would never, as in never wear high heeled shoes. I love my feet, why should I make them suffer? Besides, I am diabetic and I am very careful not to cause any injury to my lower extremities or else... goodbye legs!
Before I end, I would want to share a video of one of my favorite local rock bands. The one speaking is the lead singer, Jay Contreras. He has been misjudged as being a bad person because of his looks. In the video, he speaks about it to his audience.
"Hindi po lahat ng taong mahabang buhok kulot at maraming tattoo ay masamang tao...
Marami diyan, ang ganda ng damit, ang gara ng buhok, ang yaman ng dating, pero ang sama ng ugali.
Pero merong iba, mukhang adik, mukhang sanggano, puro tattoo pero grabe magmahal.
Wag nyo pong husgahan ang mga tao sa paligid nyo.."
Translation: "Not all persons with tattoos and long unruly hair are evil. There are some who have nice clothes, smooth, shiny hair, looking so rich and classy, but are evil deep inside. Its true. While those people who look like hobos, with lots of tattoos are the ones that know how to truly love. Please do not judge the people around you."
You are welcome to share your opinion. Do clothes really make a person?